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$2.3M San Juan home declares solar independence

They claim solar independence on this San Juan Island property, which has more than that to offer

The solar panels alone are enough to attract attention. They claim solar independence on this San Juan Island property, an impressive feat at least partly enabled by the banana-belt climate.

Sitting beside 244 feet of rocky shoreline is a new and custom 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1,840 square foot Northwest Contemporary house that's listed at $2,295,000. The location, the views, and the 2.68 acres already create a package worth noticing; but it is the design details that make the house distinctive, too.

Start outside on the covered bluestone patio. It comes equipped with an immense fireplace for relaxed evenings without being chased around by smoke from a fire pit. Step inside the wide doors to a kitchen that displays the heavy wood influence that pulls back enough to make room for backsplashes, contemporary lighting, and new appliances. They kept the tone of the wood light, a nice touch for brightening the spaces.

It should be bright, considering the large array of solar panels; otherwise, they'd just be sitting up there hoping for the clouds to leave.

A guest house is included that wasn't ignored. Rather than a conventional design, it has garage doors installed as openings to the various porches and decks, just in case they don't feel the need to travel to the main house.

The most prominent features of the property were designed by nature. The shoreline is that nice balance of a low to medium bank, not so low that every wave is a worry, not so high that getting to the beach is a problem. One uncommon and valuable feature is the cove that's large enough to hold a small, protected beach, and large enough to store or at least launch kayaks.

The other uncommon feature is the enormous erratic, a boulder dropped and left by the retreating glaciers. It's probably easiest to leave it where it sits and just mow around it. Imagine how much it would cost to get something like delivered and you may consider it to be valuable, too.

· 193 Golf Course Rd, San Juan Island [Estately]